Melanie Leech, CBE, joined the British Property Federation in 2015, following nine years as Director General of the Food and Drink Federation. Her role is to champion UK real estate and to promote a sustainable partnership between governments and the sector to deliver a high quality built environment.
When was your first visit to MIPIM? Why did you decide to go?
2015 – I had very recently taken over as Chief Executive of the BPF and so MIPIM was a great way for me to meet a wide range of people involved in the industry.
What is your best MIPIM memory?
Walking along the Croisette late at night feeling the buzz and speculating on the deals being done in each group I passed.
What does MIPIM mean to you? What drives you to continue going?
For me, MIPIM is a place to catch up with existing members and meet prospective new ones; to showcase what the UK real estate industry has to offer and how BPF helps to support it.
What is your forecast for this year’s show?
Most of our members are pretty upbeat about 2016 and I expect to see that mood reflected in Cannes. As ever people will work hard and play hard, but it’s a great chance for UK regions in particular to set out their stall and I hope they will take full advantage. London will as ever have a strong presence and the impending Mayoral election (not to mention the EU referendum) will likely be a key topic of conversation in many venues.
What is the one event in the Tough Guide you wouldn’t miss?
Apart from our own events (of course) it’s great to see some networking events for industry women in the programme and I hope they will be well supported.
One piece of advice to a first timer?
Grab every opportunity to talk to someone as you never know where it may lead – but pace yourself!